The Boston Red Sox today announced first baseman Sam Travis has been named Minor League Offensive Player of the Year and left-handed pitcher Williams Jerez has been named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The Red Sox awarded shortstop Javier Guerra Defensive Player of the Year honors and recognized infielder Yoan Moncada as the Base Runner of the Year. The club also named outfielder Lorenzo Cedrola the Latin Program Player of the Year and right-handed pitcher Denyi Reyes the Latin Program Pitcher of the Year.
Additionally, right-handed pitcher Jonathan Aro has been named as the 2015 recipient of the Lou Gorman Award. Created in 2011, the award is given annually to a Red Sox minor league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.
The 2015 Minor League Awards are selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony at Fenway Park today prior to Boston's 4:05 p.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Travis led all qualifying Red Sox minor league players with a .307 batting average, 150 hits, 78 RBI, and a .833 OPS. In his second professional season, the 22-year-old played 66 games at High-A Salem from April 9-June 20, hitting .313 with five home runs, 40 RBI, and 10 stolen bases, before being promoted to Double-A Portland. The first baseman was recognized as the Carolina League Player of the Week for April 27-May 3 and started at first base in the Carolina League All-Star Game. At Portland, Travis hit .300 with 17 doubles, two triples, and four home runs in 65 games, recording 33 walks and 34 strikeouts. He reached base safely in 17 of his final 19 games, including 11 times in his last three games. The Chicago native was selected in the second round (67th overall) of the 2014 June Draft out of Indiana University, where he had been the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year.
Jerez, 23, posted a 5-3 record and a 2.54 ERA (25 ER/88.2 IP) with four saves, four holds, 86 strikeouts, and 31 walks in 41 relief appearances between Single-A Greenville, High-A Salem, and Double-A Portland. He made 14 outings for Greenville, including 13 multi-inning efforts, going 3-1 and posting a 2.06 ERA (9 ER/39.1 IP) and a 4.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio (43 SO/10 BB) in 39.1 frames from April 10-June 2. The left-hander went 1-0 and allowed just one earned run in 12.1 IP over five games with Salem (0.73 ERA) from June 6-June 21 before a promotion to Portland, where he posted a 1-2 record with a 3.65 ERA (15 ER/37.0 IP) and 31 strikeouts in 22 games while holding the opposition to a .245 batting average. A former outfielder, Jerez has made 55 relief appearances and owns a 2.63 ERA (36 ER/123.0 IP) in the last two seasons after hitting .221 between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Short-A Lowell over his first three professional seasons (2011-2013). He was originally selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2011 June Draft out of Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, NY.
Guerra finished with a .954 fielding percentage (27 errors/589 chances) in 113 games in the field with Greenville, 112 at shortstop and one at second base. Guerra, who turned 20 yesterday, recorded 367 assists and 195 putouts in 978.2 innings while having a hand in 79 double plays. In his third professional season, he earned Player of the Week recognition for July 6-12 and was selected to participate in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. The Panama-born shortstop hit .279 at the plate with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, and 68 RBI. He was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent on July 2, 2012 at the age of 16.
Moncada led the organization with 49 steals in 81 games with Greenville, third-most in the South Atlantic League. After stealing just one base in his first 20 games of the season, he tallied 48 thefts in the final 61 games, including a stretch of 29 steals in 27 games from July 17-August 27. Moncada was successful in 94.2% of his stolen base attempts (49-for-52), best in the South Atlantic League (minimum 15 attempts). In his first season since signing with the organization on March 12, 2015, he hit .278/.380/.438 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 81 games. The 20-year-old native of Cuba was honored as a member of Baseball America's Low-A All-Star Team, as well as a South Atlantic League post-season All-Star and the South Atlantic League's Most Outstanding MLB Prospect.
Cedrola, 17, led the Dominican Summer League Red Sox 2 team with 85 hits, including eight doubles, seven triples, and a home run, contributing to a .321 batting average and a team-leading .835 OPS in 67 games. His 27 stolen bases were tied for seventh most in the league. The Venezuelan-born outfielder was signed as an international free agent on February 12, 2015.
Reyes earned a team-best seven wins in 75.0 innings over 15 games (14 starts) for the DSL Red Sox 2 while posting a 2.88 ERA (24 ER), fanning 63, and walking three without allowing a home run. He led the team's starting pitchers with a 1.01 WHIP and 21 strikeouts per walk (63 SO/3 BB). The 18-year-old from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, was signed by Boston on July 2, 2014.
An international prospect by the age of 17, Aro was faced with two separate hospitalizations with Dengue fever before turning 20. He was able to overcome his health concerns and return to baseball, signing with the Red Sox in June 2011. Despite the long odds as an older signing international player, Aro succeeded at each minor league level, earning the opportunity to make his major league debut at Fenway Park on June 25 at the age of 24. He has appeared in four major league games for the Red Sox over four stints this year, allowing seven earned runs in 6.2 innings, and is currently on the Red Sox active roster. This year in the minor leagues, the right-handed Dominican-born reliever combined for a 3-3 record and a 3.04 ERA (25 ER/74.0 IP) with 72 strikeouts between Pawtucket and Portland.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.